Social protection has risen rapidly up the development policy agenda in the last decade. Although increasingly dominated by conditional and unconditional cash transfer programmes, the wide range of instruments that aim to alleviate poverty and manage livelihood risks often have direct, intended implications for food security.
Agriculture and food systems face the challenge of meeting the growing demand for more and higher quality food, but also of doing so in a way that is sustainable, equitable and meets the nutritional needs and preferences of consumers. How should we move ahead to make sure that agriculture and food systems are up to this task?
My name is Salomeyesudas and I work as an independent consultant for several organizations in Tamil Nadu, India. Currently I am working on a research paper on public food systems for the Dhan Foundation.
In spite of the many public food distribution systems, India is facing nutritional emergencies and the prevalence of malnutrition remains very high.
One of the reasons is that food schemes are mainly based on the distribution of the energy-rich cereals wheat and rice but do not take the nutritional value of into account.
I would like to explore whether the introduction of different crops such as millets into the distribution system could yield improved nutritional outcomes.
In addition to case studies and example from India, I would be very grateful to receive information on other South Asian countries, such as Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Several aspects of the relationship between food, hunger, peace and conflict have been well explored and documented.
First, conflict tends to have a strong adverse impact on hunger and food security, and this finding is uncontested. Second, there is evidence that high food prices and lack of access to food have contributed to political instability and civil strife. This relationship is nuanced and needs to be given more careful consideration. Third, there are indications that food security and improved rural livelihoods may contribute to the mitigation and prevention of conflicts and to securing sustainable peace. However, the nature and strength of this relationship has been underexplored.
This note provides a succinct summary of the main literature and some evidence on the hunger-conflict-peace relationship. What is clear from the literature is that a deeper exploration of the relationships between conflict, food security and peace would provide a stronger basis for designing effective interventions.